Karnataka mulls relaxing weekend curfew, allowing malls to reopen

Prime News, Karnataka, Health, Disease, Lockdown, Bengaluru, July 2:- The Karnataka government is mulling relaxing the weekend curfew and reopening malls in the districts which have reported low COVID-19 test positivity rates in the past two weeks, reports said. Shops and establishments may be allowed to remain open for longer and the timings of bus and metro services may also be extended. The duration of the night curfew may also be reduced, a news report quoted Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai as saying.

As per the current restrictions in place in Bengaluru, shops and establishments are allowed to remain open till 6 pm. A weekend curfew is in place, with restrictions in force from 7 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday. According to TOI, many traders have asked the government to allow shops to remain open until 10 pm, as opposed to the current 6 pm restriction. In Bengaluru, Namma Metro services and BMTC bus services may also be allowed to operate for a longer duration. The Karnataka government is also mulling reopening temples from July 5.

A few days ago, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had said that the government is considering opening malls in Bengaluru with some conditions, and a decision in this regard will be taken soon. “Malls (Shopping Centres) association members have met me. I will discuss it with my cabinet colleagues. We are discussing giving certain concessions with some conditions,” Yediyurappa had said.

A final decision is expected to be made on Saturday, July 3, when the Chief Minister will meet the group of ministers to discuss the further “unlock” plan. The current restrictions are in place until Monday, July 5. Under the “Unlock” guidelines that are in place in most parts of the state, several sectors have been permitted to operate but air-conditioned shops, shopping complexes, malls, are still not permitted to function.

At that time, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta had said that in his opinion malls can be allowed to function, and restrictions like operating with 50% capacity can be implemented because people go there only for a couple of hours, but strict vigil has to be maintained at food courts. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)

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